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Case study

Cereals Industry Case Study

November 18, 2022

Case study: a leading UK cereal producer.


There are 22 engineers on the floor (out of an available team of 30), across 13 production lines, at this site that produces crisps and cracker wheat biscuits for a large retailer and their own international brand.

Audit compliance is their ‘big issue’, with BRC being the most stringent. The Engineering Manager identifies their top 3 supplier criteria as: 1) quality, 2) value for money and availability (one supplier’s lead times can be 6 months!).

The site has suffered recurring breakdowns on oven fan bearings that run at 180°C shaft temperature, as many as 10 in one year.

Stocking products from 7 different manufacturers has caused unnecessary complications, and there is room for improvement in the way the lubricants are stored on site.

The Engineering Manager really liked the idea of the visual management colour coding and the fact that all lubricants are food grade, and would particularly benefit from using a single source for their lubrication needs.


Firstly, 7 out of the 23 products the site was using were non-foodgrade, posing a huge potential risk in audit situations.

Some lubricants were not fit for purpose, in particular the oven fan bearing grease (which was causing the recurring breakdowns). They were using a silicone base grease with an insufficient 4-ball weld load of 180kg (the replacement Activate product, ‘Longlife’, has a 500kg rating).

The lack of consistency due to multiple lubricant brands on-site was causing a headache for engineers and the Engineering Inventory Coordinator, posing risks of mis-selection and misapplication.


We ran a four week, no-obligation trial of Activate products housed in a dedicated storage unit, with integral supporting application and compliance materials.

All products use a Group 4 fully synthetic base and have a wide operating range, which allowed us to rationalise the inventory from 23 lubricants (from 7 different manufacturers) to 14 Activate lubricants - all Foodgrade / NSF Registered to the required category thus ensuring audit compliance and high performance across the board.

The entire product inventory was now 100% fit for purpose which made for much increased resilience with regards to reliability. The visual management dispensing process further strengthened brand assurance by protecting against mis-selection and misapplication.

The Engineering Management enjoyed the peace of mind of a streamlined, optimised oil store and guaranteed BRC audit compliance.


“We are very happy indeed with Activate, in particular with regards to compliance and performance.

The whole process was very focussed and considered from the beginning, with their advisors analysing our existing lubrication culture and creating a clear pathway to elevate everything to modern ‘best practice’.

Our main requirements for quality, value for money, availability and audit compliance were met the moment the Activate system was installed. An added bonus is the sheer ease of use for engineers, purchasers and management – our lubrication is now so streamlined and no longer the hassle it once was!”


Changing the game
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“Thank you so much for your help we cruised through the audit nicely thanks to your swift response! I don’t think there is anything we need at the minute but thank you again for the support - times like that show which suppliers truly deliver support and you do!”

Engineer - Leading UK Meat Producer

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“Thanks to you and the whole Activate team for your assistance this year, it has been great working with you.”

Chief Engineer - Global Snacks Producer

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